Author Topic: What's the best FRED available?  (Read 1899 times)

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ryan_wilkerson

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What's the best FRED available?
« on: January 14, 2014, 12:25:02 AM »
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It's been a long time since I purchased a flashing rear end device kit and I'm looking to find what the best available options. I'm looking for something that look right (probably a SM LED?) and also has a prototypical flash rate. Power pickup from the rails would be better than a battery & switch but either would be fine. I did a search of the forum and found the thread from last summer about the Firefly. I visited the Facebook page and it seems that it hasn't been updated since then so I'm not sure if they are still in business. Is it still available? Are there better options?
Firefly thread: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=30411

Chris1274

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 08:29:05 AM »
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http://www.detailsnscale.com/n_lighting_products.htm

I don't know if it's the "best" available, but it looks pretty good.

Philip H

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 01:03:34 PM »
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It's been a long time since I purchased a flashing rear end device kit and I'm looking to find what the best available options. I'm looking for something that look right (probably a SM LED?) and also has a prototypical flash rate. Power pickup from the rails would be better than a battery & switch but either would be fine. I did a search of the forum and found the thread from last summer about the Firefly. I visited the Facebook page and it seems that it hasn't been updated since then so I'm not sure if they are still in business. Is it still available? Are there better options?
Firefly thread: https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=30411

I ordered a FireFLy after they switched to facebook and it came in ok, so they may stil be a going concern.  Did you message them?  FWIW theirs is a cool product, and being self-contained in the truck its an easy switch out.
Philip H.
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Denver Road Doug

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 04:30:39 PM »
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I'm partial to the Sunrise Enterprises FRED and the Richmond Controls circuit. 
http://www.sunrisenterprises.com/npics/hs50.jpg
http://www.richmondcontrols.com/fred.htm

 Depending on who you ask, the Sunrise FRED's are unavailable but folks/shops still manage to find them and Richmond never seems to run out.   I need a bunch at some point so hopefully something comparable will be available if the Sunrise FRED's are truly discontinued.   The things I like about the Sunrise/Richmond combo is looks, flash rate, and ability to be track powered on a DCC layout.

Truthfully, the flash rate is what kills it for most of the FRED's I've ever seen.  Old GATRworks, the Firefly, and many others fall into the unacceptable category for me.  Supposedly the GATRworks newest FRED addresses this problem so it might be a good option, although I have yet to see one in operation.
NOTE: I'm no longer active on this forum.   If you need to contact me, use the e-mail address (or visit the website link) attached to this username.  Thanks.

rsn48

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 05:20:19 PM »
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I guess the best FRED out there would be a sensitive guy who listens, has leadership skills but knows how to follow.  Is supportive of goals and never leaves when things get tough.  He has a good sense of humour, doesn't obsess over problems and likes to go for walks.
Hind sight is always better than foresight, except for lost opportunity costs.

aikorob

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 06:13:20 PM »
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I guess the best FRED out there would be a sensitive guy who listens, has leadership skills but knows how to follow.  Is supportive of goals and never leaves when things get tough.  He has a good sense of humour, doesn't obsess over problems and likes to go for walks on the beach at sunset.
FTFY
maybe good soldering skills also  :P

Kisatchie

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2014, 09:48:53 PM »
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What does FRED stand for... Flashing Rear End Device... ?


Hmm... I'm partial to
FRED Flintstone...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

peteski

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2014, 10:05:01 PM »
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What does FRED stand for... Flashing Rear End Device... ?


Kis, how about CHMSL?  Do you know that that means?  It is just another red light. (no cheating looking it up on the web).  ;)
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JoeW

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2014, 11:17:02 PM »
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Hi Ryan
I am partial to the Richmond control FRED.   Both Jim Hinds (Richmond Controls) and Dan Crews (SRE) did a good job on that project.  Even though it's been out for quite awhile it still stands up to time.   If Richmond Controls still has some of the FREDs I would highly recommend one.
http://www.richmondcontrols.com/fred.htm
Wish I was in Dunsmuir
JoeW
 

ryan_wilkerson

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014, 03:16:14 AM »
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http://www.detailsnscale.com/n_lighting_products.htm

I don't know if it's the "best" available, but it looks pretty good.

Thanks for that link Chris, I haven't see that one before.

ryan_wilkerson

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 03:21:45 AM »
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I ordered a FireFLy after they switched to facebook and it came in ok, so they may stil be a going concern.  Did you message them?  FWIW theirs is a cool product, and being self-contained in the truck its an easy switch out.

Philip, I really do like the truck-only setup of the FireFly but the videos they posted on their facebook make it look like the cycle is rather fast. Also, in one of the videos, it appears that the flash is close to prototype while the locomotives are running but as soon as they stopped, the flash rate increased quite noticeably. Maybe it was just a video fluke. I might as well contact them to ask some questions.

ryan_wilkerson

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2014, 03:24:33 AM »
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I'm partial to the Sunrise Enterprises FRED and the Richmond Controls circuit. 
http://www.sunrisenterprises.com/npics/hs50.jpg
http://www.richmondcontrols.com/fred.htm

Depending on who you ask, the Sunrise FRED's are unavailable but folks/shops still manage to find them and Richmond never seems to run out.   I need a bunch at some point so hopefully something comparable will be available if the Sunrise FRED's are truly discontinued.   The things I like about the Sunrise/Richmond combo is looks, flash rate, and ability to be track powered on a DCC layout.

Truthfully, the flash rate is what kills it for most of the FRED's I've ever seen.  Old GATRworks, the Firefly, and many others fall into the unacceptable category for me.  Supposedly the GATRworks newest FRED addresses this problem so it might be a good option, although I have yet to see one in operation.

Doug, I think the kit I purchased many years ago was a Sunrise unit, I will try to find it to compare. I'll contact Richmond to see what they have available. I need to try some of their tri-color LEDs for Showcase SP signals so I might as well order at the same time.

ryan_wilkerson

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2014, 03:26:08 AM »
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FTFY
maybe good soldering skills also  :P

If I was posting about that kind of Fred, I think my post would be slapped into "the proper forum". I don't think that kind of forum exists on TRW  ;)

peteski

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2014, 03:36:01 AM »
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Doug, I think the kit I purchased many years ago was a Sunrise unit, I will try to find it to compare. I'll contact Richmond to see what they have available. I need to try some of their tri-color LEDs for Showcase SP signals so I might as well order at the same time.

Where exactly did you see tri-color LEDs on their website?  I also thought that I could find them there, but I never found them.   Showcase Miniatures sells very small ones, but for $9 per LED, that is a bit much for my wallet.  I found what I needed at Mouser Electronics.  for a reasonable price. They are bit larger than I was hoping for, but they'll do.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

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-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

ryan_wilkerson

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Re: What's the best FRED available?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2014, 03:36:38 AM »
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Hi Ryan
I am partial to the Richmond control FRED.   Both Jim Hinds (Richmond Controls) and Dan Crews (SRE) did a good job on that project.  Even though it's been out for quite awhile it still stands up to time.   If Richmond Controls still has some of the FREDs I would highly recommend one.
http://www.richmondcontrols.com/fred.htm
Wish I was in Dunsmuir
JoeW

Thanks Joe for the info on the SRE freds.

So what's keeping you from being in Dunsmuir?